Translate English-to-Latin

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Propertius
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Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Propertius » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:24 am

Salvete omnes!

It’s been a while since I posted anything. My Latin composition has been going good. Been working out of the book (Hillard and Botting’s). But sometime I write out my own sentences and try to translate them into Latin. Could I have your opinions on my most recent one:

My wisdom is nothing in comparison to that of the god.

My translation:

Sapientia mea/mihi praeut (ea) deorum nihil est.

Am I correct in that I could use either the possessive pronoun or the dative of possession here? And could I also exclude the word for that in Latin (in parenthesis)? (That) meaning (the wisdom) of the gods. And is that even the correct pronoun for that to use? Or would illa be more appropriate in this sentence?

Maximas gratias vobis ago!

P.S. If anyone would like to post your own English sentences that you need help with translating feel free to do so on this thread. It’s what I intend to do with any other sentences I come up with that I may have trouble with.

Aetos
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Aetos » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:39 pm

In this instance, you're better off with the possessive adjective mea. The dative is used with the verb esse (or similar verb) and is used more to indicate what is being possessed (I'm paraphrasing Allen & Greenough). If you wanted to say "I have wisdom", you could say 'mihi sapientia est'. Although you're using esse in your sentence, it's there to connect nihil with sapienta, not to indicate possession with a dative.
'prae ut' - I don't believe you need the ut. ut is used when another clause is following and there is no following clause in this sentence, so here you'd use prae with the ablative.(So, 'prae eā deorum nihil' est.) Or you could 'jazz it up' and emulate Livy:
nihil est mea sapientia , adversus eam deorum. Or Cicero: nihil mea sapientia, prae ea deorum, or my personal favourite Plautus: ad sapientiam deorum ego nugator sum!
BTW, I didn't come up with these on my own-I adapted them from Smith & Hall's English-Latin dictionary.

Propertius
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Propertius » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:18 am

Aetos wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:39 pm
In this instance, you're better off with the possessive adjective mea. The dative is used with the verb esse (or similar verb) and is used more to indicate what is being possessed (I'm paraphrasing Allen & Greenough). If you wanted to say "I have wisdom", you could say 'mihi sapientia est'. Although you're using esse in your sentence, it's there to connect nihil with sapienta, not to indicate possession with a dative.
'prae ut' - I don't believe you need the ut. ut is used when another clause is following and there is no following clause in this sentence, so here you'd use prae with the ablative.(So, 'prae eā deorum nihil' est.) Or you could 'jazz it up' and emulate Livy:
nihil est mea sapientia , adversus eam deorum. Or Cicero: nihil mea sapientia, prae ea deorum, or my personal favourite Plautus: ad sapientiam deorum ego nugator sum!
BTW, I didn't come up with these on my own-I adapted them from Smith & Hall's English-Latin dictionary.
Whoa! Did Livy, Cicero, and Plautus really say that? I’ll take it as a good sign that I’m thinking like a Roman writer. By the way you missed my last question: couldn’t I exclude ea all together and leave it as:

Sapientia mea prae deorum nihil est.

The composition book I’m using has asked me to do so sometimes. It’ll put the word that it wants me to exclude in parenthesis. E.g.

My wisdom is nothing compared to (that) of the gods.

Maximas gratias tibi ago!

Aetos
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Aetos » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:06 am

Propertius wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:18 am
Whoa! Did Livy, Cicero, and Plautus really say that? I’ll take it as a good sign that I’m thinking like a Roman writer. By the way you missed my last question: couldn’t I exclude ea all together and leave it as:

Sapientia mea prae deorum nihil est.

The composition book I’m using has asked me to do so sometimes. It’ll put the word that it wants me to exclude in parenthesis.
L,C,&P didn't really make these exact statements. As I said above, what I did what was to adapt their sentences (thus their style) to express the idea of your sentence, i.e. H&B's sentence. If you look at the examples in Smith&Hall's Dictionary, which I linked to above, I think you'll see how I did it. (Type in "comparison")
I believe you can drop "ea", as the meaning is clear that you're comparing something(sapientia) to something of the gods, rather than to the gods themselves. Unfortunately, I can't quote you chapter and verse from A&G. North & Hillard, in their composition book, mention in a note in their chapter on Comparison (Exercise 42B, note 2)that "that of" is dropped in comparisons.
Edit: Here's a little more on "pronouns of reference" in Latin. This from Arnold's Prose Composition:
https://archive.org/details/practicalin ... t/page/226
A case could be made that because sapientia would be in a different case (when implied by prae), it would be repeated, so:
Sapientia mea prae sapientiā deorum nihil est.
The appropriate reference in Allen & Greenough would be Para. 297.f:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D297

Propertius
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Propertius » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:55 pm

Aetos wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:06 am
Propertius wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:18 am
Whoa! Did Livy, Cicero, and Plautus really say that? I’ll take it as a good sign that I’m thinking like a Roman writer. By the way you missed my last question: couldn’t I exclude ea all together and leave it as:

Sapientia mea prae deorum nihil est.

The composition book I’m using has asked me to do so sometimes. It’ll put the word that it wants me to exclude in parenthesis.
L,C,&P didn't really make these exact statements. As I said above, what I did what was to adapt their sentences (thus their style) to express the idea of your sentence, i.e. H&B's sentence. If you look at the examples in Smith&Hall's Dictionary, which I linked to above, I think you'll see how I did it. (Type in "comparison")
I believe you can drop "ea", as the meaning is clear that you're comparing something(sapientia) to something of the gods, rather than to the gods themselves. Unfortunately, I can't quote you chapter and verse from A&G. North & Hillard, in their composition book, mention in a note in their chapter on Comparison (Exercise 42B, note 2)that "that of" is dropped in comparisons.
Edit: Here's a little more on "pronouns of reference" in Latin. This from Arnold's Prose Composition:
https://archive.org/details/practicalin ... t/page/226
A case could be made that because sapientia would be in a different case (when implied by prae), it would be repeated, so:
Sapientia mea prae sapientiā deorum nihil est.
The appropriate reference in Allen & Greenough would be Para. 297.f:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D297
Aetos!

Thank you for your response. I haven’t had a chance to reply. I’ve been busy with school. I have another sentence I’m confused about. Here it is:

I have been learning Latin for many years now.

My translation:

Linguam Latinam iam multos annos...

Here’s where I get lost. How would I write ‘I have been learning’ in Latin? That phrase seems rather ambiguous. ‘I have been’ seems to be perfect passive and ‘learning’ is present. So how would I write that in Latin?

At first I was thinking of using the perfect passive indicative.

Linguam Latinam iam multos annos discitus sum.

But I realized that wouldn’t be correct. Wouldn’t that translate to:

I have been learned Latin for many years now.

So which verb form would ‘I have been learning’ be translated to?

Aetos
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Aetos » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:02 pm

Believe it or not, what you need here is the present active indicative:
multos iam annos disco linguam latinam.
Here's the reference in A&G:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D466
This is an action continuing in the present, but begun in the past.
Your confusion arises from trying to literally translate English into Latin. The idea is to find a Latin construction that expresses the idea of the sentence, rather trying to directly translate word for word.

Propertius
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Propertius » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:02 pm

Aetos wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:02 pm
Believe it or not, what you need here is the present active indicative:
multos iam annos disco linguam latinam.
Here's the reference in A&G:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... ythp%3D466
This is an action continuing in the present, but begun in the past.
Your confusion arises from trying to literally translate English into Latin. The idea is to find a Latin construction that expresses the idea of the sentence, rather trying to directly translate word for word.
That makes sense now. So iam pretty much gives it away that it’s something that has been going on in the past and the fact that the verb is in the present makes it seem that it is still continuing in the present, correct?

Aetos
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Aetos » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:07 pm

Propertius wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:02 pm
So iam pretty much gives it away that it’s something that has been going on in the past and the fact that the verb is in the present makes it seem that it is still continuing in the present, correct?
Check Note 1 in that section (A&G 466 Note 1). The difference between the English and the Latin is that in English, the beginning is stated and the continuance is left to be inferred "I have been learning (and am still learning)" In Latin, the continuance is stated and the beginning is to be inferred "I am learning (disco) (and have been learning)"

Propertius
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Re: Translate English-to-Latin

Post by Propertius » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:37 pm

Got it. Thanks Aetos.

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